Do Bengals have Patrick Mahomes’ quantity? Probably not, although they’ve had some success
Patrick Mahomes hasn’t been dangerous towards the Cincinnati Bengals prior to now three conferences. The Kansas Metropolis Chiefs have not received any of these three video games, however there’s extra to profitable and shedding soccer video games than a quarterback’s manufacturing, irrespective of how usually you hear in any other case.
Within the three conferences Mahomes has accomplished 67.3 % of his passes for 757 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. His 101 passer score is fairly good. However the Bengals have additionally completed effectively not letting Mahomes go ballistic towards them, usually due to their willingness to throw totally different appears at him.
Mahomes hasn’t had greater than 275 yards in any of the three conferences. Within the second half and extra time of the AFC championship sport final season he struggled as a lot as we have ever seen Mahomes wrestle. Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo is adaptable throughout video games, and it has offered a problem to Mahomes and the Chiefs.
In Sunday’s AFC championship sport, Anarumo and the Bengals protection can be artistic.
“It’s by no means the identical,” Mahomes mentioned this week of the Bengals’ scheme, via Harold Kuntz of Fox 4 in Kansas Metropolis.
Bengals flustered Mahomes final postseason
There have been a couple of causes the Bengals got here again from a 21-3 deficit towards the Chiefs in final season’s AFC championship sport, however the important thing one was flustering Mahomes with a schematic shift.
Within the first half Mahomes was getting the ball out quick and the few occasions he did not, he was capable of finding one thing after scrambling round. His 5-yard landing to Travis Kelce was a classic Mahomes play.
Then within the second half the Bengals usually dropped a lineman, giving them eight defenders in protection, and Mahomes was indecisive. He’d maintain the ball however could not discover something open.
And the Bengals stored Mahomes from working towards three-man rushes by generally using a spy. He would simply stick within the pocket with the protection zones flooded.
“They simply had a spy on me, for probably the most half, and I’ve normally completed a great job getting round that man, however they’d a great sport plan,” Mahomes mentioned, via The Athletic. “They have been doing numerous comparable stuff within the first half, we have been simply executing at the next degree.”
The Bengals threw numerous appears at Mahomes, coverage-wise and within the go rush. On a key play within the second half, they’d a security blitz to Mahomes’ proper from Vonn Bell, they dropped defensive finish Trey Hendrickson into protection on Mahomes’ left, and Mahomes threw a pressured go as he drifted to his left that was tipped on the line and intercepted by defensive deal with B.J. Hill.
Anarumo can throw quite a bit at a quarterback. In that AFC championship sport he made the daring name to double up on the three-man rushes towards Mahomes, and it flustered the star quarterback.
What’s going to Bengals do on protection?
You’d assume that if a scheme labored so effectively towards Mahomes, Anarumo would go proper again to it. Nonetheless, within the Week 13 regular-season assembly between the groups Anarumo did not return to the identical technique. There have been solely a handful of performs through which the Bengals dropped eight in protection (although one got here on the Chiefs’ remaining offensive play, a 3rd down that resulted in a sack and a field-goal try, which missed). However the Bengals protection was pretty efficient. Mahomes performed high quality with 259 yards, two touchdowns and a 113.9 passer score, however the Bengals obtained the win.
Mahomes threw simply 27 passes, his second-lowest of the season (he threw 26 in a season-ending blowout of the Las Vegas Raiders). The Bengals largely did a great job protecting Travis Kelce (4 catches, 56 yards) and stored Mahomes from hitting many explosive performs. He did hit two deep completions and each got here towards the blitz.
The Bengals rushed six on a 3rd down and with no deep security within the third quarter, and Mahomes discovered Marquez Valdes-Scantling deep down the center for 42 yards. Later within the quarter Mahomes threw to Valdes-Scantling downfield for a 29-yard acquire on third-and-10 when the Bengals despatched 5 rushers. The Bengals did not blitz Mahomes that usually, seemingly as a result of Mahomes is nice at beating it.
Mahomes’ mobility might have an effect on the Bengals’ plan. Once more, Anarumo is prepared to vary his strategy and he is aware of Mahomes is coping with a excessive ankle sprain. Mahomes beat the blitz a pair occasions for large performs within the regular-season assembly however the Bengals would possibly ship further rushers early on Sunday to learn how effectively Mahomes can transfer.
Mahomes has completed OK towards the Bengals on the entire, however they’ve gotten to him a couple of occasions with some wrinkles. The Chiefs cannot account for every thing the Bengals protection would possibly do Sunday. Figuring it out might be the distinction within the Chiefs breaking their shedding streak towards Cincinnati.